Saturday, January 20, 2007

Meditation and Writing Weird

I have been meditating for nearly six years now. I try to do it daily, and always notice when I don't manage for a bit. The wobbles take over. All the ideas I want to have, don't want to have, would never dreamt of having crowd in and I can't get any peace to even begin to understand what I do think. It's like a filter that gets jammed with too much trying to get in. Meditating makes me realise that as a writer, I need space. Not around me - I've spent too long working in busy open-plan offices for that, I can write and think anywhere - but from inside. There's a beautiful three-line poem by one of my favourite poets, Kenneth White which sums it up for me.

My Properties
salutations to Michaux

I'm a landowner myself after all -
I've got twelve acres of white silence
up at the back of my mind

So it was interesting to read this article by David Lynch on what meditation means to him, and how he originally fought against it, thinking it would be harmful to his creative process. He writes about his first thoughts:
“Meditation would be a sickening thing to consider, because you want that edge to create,” he said, wearing worn khaki trousers and a tattered black sports jacket with a hole in the right elbow the size of a saucer. “I don’t want to be a namby-pamby.”

But in fact, meditation allows him to be 'weirder':
As an artist, Mr. Lynch said, it has allowed him to unleash his imagination and be, in a word, weirder. He said that many of his ideas — the “big fish” of his book’s title — come to him during meditation. Among these big fish are the sitcom-starring rabbits and the Greek chorus of prostitutes in his fantastical three-hour new film, “Inland Empire,” now showing in limited release.

David Lynch has written a book about his experiences of meditation, Catching the Big Fish: Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity, which I've just ordered, but one of the joys of meditating is that, to begin with, you don't need anything but persistence. Try sitting still for one minute, gently pushing aside all thoughts that come in, and you'll see how hard it is, but if I just concentrate on my breathing, not trying to change it, but working out exactly how I'm breathing, well, that's often all I need to prepare for a writing stint. Particularly when I want to write 'weird'!!

And writing prompt 15-2007: My own definition of being a 'landowner'.

1 comment:

Jan said...

Writing weird. Sometimes I try to write edgy.
I watch TV while ironing; yesterday I watched the Afternoon Play. Brilliant. And so unexpected at that time of day...Greta Saaci (??) and a young fellow, James Cartwright, who was stunning. THey wanted to get out of their respective " comfort zones"..